Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tips for Choosing a Business Location

U.S. Small Business Administration

The ideal location for your business depends on a number of factors. The most important consideration is the kind of business you're running. Before you begin scouting a location, consider a few of the factors that can help you select the right location for your business.

Determine Your Business Activity

Your business activity is an important determining factor of where your business should be located. Answering the following questions can quickly narrow your location choices.
  • Do your customers come to you?
  • Do you have to go to your customers?
  • Do you have employees?
  • Do you manufacture products for distribution?
If your type of business depends heavily on pedestrian or drive-by traffic, such as a florist, gift shop, or clothing boutique, you'll want to seek popular retail locations, such as a downtown area or a mall, where there are few restrictions on signs that can help attract passing customers.
If customers typically seek your type of business, such as a child care service, beauty salon, or fitness center, you'll want to find space that is easily accessible from population centers, major roads and public transportation.
If your customers do not typically come to you, other location factors may be more important than physical proximity to your customers. For example, if you conduct much of your business online, establishing a home-based business might be more desirable and economical than leasing commercial office space. If you manufacture products for distribution, an ideal location might be an industrial park near major transportation ports.

Ease of Access

If your business is a customer destination, consider how people get around in the area where your business will be located.
  • If you are scouting a location in a suburban area, most people may get around by car. You'll need to make sure you are close to major streets, and have plenty of parking.
  • If you are scouting a location in an urban area, consider areas around public transportation hubs or areas of the city where there is a lot of foot traffic.

Proximity to Your Competitors

While it may seem counter-intuitive, operating a business close to your competitors is often very beneficial. This is especially true if you have a retail business that relies heavily on foot traffic. Shopping malls are a good example of why proximity to your competitors is an important factor. Most major pedestrian malls are full of clothing shops, and cost of retail space is often very high. The reason for this is that the number of potential customers increases exponentially on a per-store basis around a concentration of similar businesses. For example, while one store might attract 50 customers, two stories might attract 200 customers, and three stories might attract 1,000 customers.

Zoning and Signs

Before setting up shop, check with you local zoning authority to make sure you will not break any city ordinance or zoning policies in your preferred location. Also consider your sign requirements and compare them to sign regulations set by your local government. Many communities set restrictions on the size and appearance of signs.
You can find out how property is zoned by contacting your local planning agency, or use the state and local search engine to find if your city or county has zoning ordinances online.

Home-Based Business

Home-based businesses make up approximately half of all U.S. businesses. Convenience and low start-up costs are just a couple of the reasons that make a home office an attractive business location. However, running a home-based business isn't for everyone. Because most residential areas are not zoned for commercial businesses, your local government may have tight restrictions on the types of businesses permitted to operate out of a home. Check with your local zoning authority for rules that apply to you. If you plan to hire employees and have customers come to you, a home-based business is probably not the best business location for you.
One option.... locating in a Mix-Use Business Park. 
495 Commerce Center
is a 110 acre master planned, mixed-use business park in McAllen, Texas. 495 Commerce Center is the only Class "A" business park south of San Antonio and is professionally planned to put businesses on the fast tract to success. This prime development is thoughtfully designed with landscaping elements that enhance the whole park from the jogging trails to the central water feature focal point. 

495 Commerce Center
is a secure investment. The business park offers various sized lots starting at 1 acre that are ultimately customized to fit the client's needs. An Owners Association and Common Area Maintenance program promote property values while the Architectural & Development Standards control building types, uses, mix, as well as the quality of construction, parking, landscaping and the architectural character of the project.